Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Little Word

One Little Word is a concept and a class with Ali Edwards.  2012 will be the second year I have signed up for the class and as the old year ends and a new year begins it is fun to look at the word that shaped 2011 and watch as my new word shapes 2012.

 Celebrate was my word this year.

And what a year of celebration it was.  2011 was my year of soixante.  Apparently in french this is the end of decade numbering; the next decade is soixante-dix, etc.  It is a pinnacle not an end!  This was pointed out by a dear young woman I met last summer in France.  Her mom is my age and she is my daughter's age (this kind of stuff matters to me!) and it was a joy to spend time with her.  Her take on age and numbers was refreshing and helpful and after that I just stopped worrying about the number!  I also loved being in a country where women of a certain age are admired and revered and not ignored.  Wonderful to see how much the French admire the wisdom years of living bring.
I have worn this Lisa Leonard necklace all year.
It has been a reminder of the word.  And sometimes it has just been a secret that even little things are worth celebrating!

So what is in store for 2012?

It chose me and it's perfect!

 I actually thought my word for 2012 would be "Create."  I bought a new Lisa Leonard necklace and everything.  But as I was talking to a friend about the whole "one little word" concept, it became apparent that "Abundance" was my word for the year.  So to the necklace I added a charm I got at Silver Bella and now wear it to nudge my creativity.

Title Page
One Little Word notebook.

As I wrote to a friend, who is also taking the course, 2012 is going to be all about being expansive in all aspects of my life:  Creativity will certainly be a part.  So will finding the funds to put a new, badly needed roof on part of our house!  I look to see abundance of spirit, creativity and peace as each month I delve a bit deeper into my word.

If that sounds like fun, join me on the journey

Have a Very Happy New Year!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Soreze, France

Having spent all our cash on books in Montalban, the next afternoon we headed to Soreze which has an ATM as well as beautiful architecture!

I wandered the town by myself.

Discovering the church grounds . . . 


 The public garden & park, 

and finally joining up with the group.
An outdoor cafe for refreshments was were we all met up.  It seemed so part of the day I didn't even think to take photos.  Oh well.  Imagine a table with espresso cups and Orangina glasses.

Soreze is not far from La Cascade, so a few of us walked back.

After all the rain it was lovely to be outside.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shopping For Books

Our heroine is having a heck of a time getting the trip to France posted.  It's not like there are a lot of followers of this blog, but for those who are being patient, thank you so much.  Today, we venture out for a glimpse of one of the field trips the group took:

  Note the raincoat Kelly is holding.
We may have been in southern France, but the beginning of our week was perfect weather for ducks!

Up the mountain to Montolieu, the book town.

  One of our projects specifically called for a book to use as our canvas.  Plus even the most ordinary of books here would be in French and pages would be so lovely for our other projects!  

I found a wonderful book with letter press printed woodcuts, an almanac of the year I was born and the find of the day --  a cashe of papers and letters. . . I'm not sure I would have discovered the cache if the shop owner didn't speak perfect English and had been married to a woman named Merrily.  Serendipity!
I had wandered off by myself into Librairie Lattitudes, a shop specializing in books on history & exploration.  I wasn't really that interested in these topics and he certainly didn't have books to cut up for art projects!  But the shop had a great feel and we spoke the same language!  I found a couple books I could afford.  He seemed to approve of my choices and we got talking.  He asked my name and laughed when I told him.  I don't know what made me ask, but I wondered if he had paper for sale -- written documents, letters, that sort of thing.  He went in the back and brought out a plastic grocery bag full of stuff:  Letters, ration coupons, an old book, etc.  It wasn't the sort of thing he usually sold, he had gotten it from an estate sale locally.  The lot wasn't elegant and some of the pieces were quite worn; I didn't look at it very carefully, but it felt like a good find.  So I said I would take it, and was there an ATM machine in town.  No, but he would gladly take US dollars and the transaction was complete!  It still makes me smile to think of the fun I had talking with Michel.

After that lovely experience and also since I was out of cash, I wandered around til I found my friends at this cafe.  Of course as soon as I shared my finds half of them went off to Michel's shop to see if he had any other wonderful bits.

It was a great afternoon and we all found things to use in our next projects.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Garden, Unexpected!

 The garden, put to bed.
Weeds removed, mulch applied, quiet expected.

But look closer.
What are those roses doing on October 25th?

My crazy garden, or maybe I should say, crazy New England weather is so warm that all my roses:  Golden Showers climber, Jacob's Coat climber and the pretty pink hybrid tea my son rescued from the nursery's toss pile are all blooming -- like crazy!
Leaves changing beautiful colors has not happened in our yard.  But we've got roses -- that's magical!

Our heroine will return to continue the tale of her France Adventure soon.  Seems her friend's passing was more upsetting than she realized and it has taken this long to get her equilibrium back. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

First Projects

Up the blue stairs to the top floor our group of art students went each morning to work.



Below are the cards I made:

These are the first projects we did -- collaged cards to send home to family and friends.  It was my first attempt to duplicate the sample.  In my failure to do so I discovered how naturally my own artistic sensibility comes through.  And since I was so very pleased with my completed cards, I also learned I might, just maybe trust my artistic eye!

For my friend Jan
Art Reference Librarian
you will be sorely missed! 


Monday, September 26, 2011

La Cascade

Our heroine has found her camera and in looking at the photos finds herself reliving this grand  adventure.  Come along on the first stop:  the small village of Durfort, France.

La Cascade is named for this waterfall across from the garden.

I went to La Cascade to attend a week-long, residential art workshop taught by Anna Corba.  I had taken classes with her before and love her sensibility, artistic and otherwise!  The workshop was composed of seven students plus Anna and Susan - an artist in her own right, and Anna's assistant for the week.  The house is three stories and a back garden.  With the rain we didn't spend much time in the garden.  It rained a lot that week and we were grateful for the wood burning stove in the living room.  The fire was very cozy!  Also on the first floor is the spacious kitchen, and the dining room, where we took most of our meals.  

Next up our heroine discovers what she wants to be when she grows up!  It's not a chef, so you can stop laughing!